Most popular national parks named

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation has named 10 national parks as the most popular destinations for tourists during the long New Year holidays.

According to Mr Songtham Suksawang, director of the National Park Office of the departmenr, from December 30 to January 3, almost a million tourists or 995,271 people visited it’s national parks located in several provinces at all parts of the country.

The 5-day holiday period saw higher figures than last year’s period because of the dropping temperatures, and promotion campaigns launched by both the government and the private sector.

This prompted hill destinations the most popular sites for visits, he said.

Among the top 10 popular destinations, eight are hill national parks and two are marine parks.

The 10 popular parks with respect to number of tourists are Khao Yai (96,592), Doi Inthanon

(55,599), Hat Nopparat Thara � Mu Koh Phi Phi (41,111), Phu Rua in Loei (31,876), Phu Hin Rongkla in Phetchabun (30,102), Erawan in Kanchanaburi (29,926), Khao Laem Ya-Kho Samet in Rayong (28,190), Pha Taem in Ubon Ratchathani (27,854), Phu Chi Fah in Chiang Rai (27,162), and Nam Tok Priew in Chanthaburi (25,664).

He said the number of tourists is higher than expected, causing some inconvenience for them due to under staff problem.

But he said in overall pictures, there was no noise interference or quarrel problem although some might violate the liquor ban rules.

He also said that the park has successfully resolved the problem of garbage from its campaign to persuade visitors to bring garbage for disposal down the hill parks.

Over 300 tons of garbage generated by tourists were brought down by them to exchange for gifts and there was also no report of wild animals dying from eating plastic bags as visitors gave cooperation not to throw harmful garbage at the park area.

He said there were only 2-3 cases of speeding vehicles hitting wild animals at Khao Yai and Kaeng Kracharn.

He added that as this year is being promoted as a tourism year by the government, more tourists are expected from 20 millions to about 20-30 millions, therefore a meeting with relevant government agencies to discuss preparation for visitors to popular parks, particularly 30 national parks in the country.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)